Thursday, September 10, 2009

FO: Tuxedo Tank

I wanted to make at least one truly summery project this summer, so I chose this one, the Sleeveless Tuxedo Shirt, by Theresa Schabes, Interweave Knits, Summer 2008. I decided to make it with Elizabeth Lavold Hempathy, which is a lovely yarn, and this is a beautiful green color, but difficult to photograph accurately. Even with a bit of color adjustment it isn't quite as irresistible a color as it is in person. Having run into trouble knitting with plant fiber yarn before (see Molly Ringwald vest for some of the gory details if you wish,) I was very careful to knit and wash a gauge swatch for this, and then to account for the way the yarn changes. As expected the swatch expanded horizontally, and shrunk vertically, and this yarn was just not going to give me the gauge the pattern demanded, so I ended up knitting the smallest size with regard to stitch counts, and my size (39) with regard to vertical directions, plus an adjustment for the way it was going to change when I washed it.
And in the end, it was worth it, the shirt is exactly the right size, the only problems remaining are the tendency of the buttons to come undone with hardly any provocation, a problem I intend to remedy by sewing them closed, and the way the beautiful drapey linen-like fabric hugs my extra um, well, curves...I am undecided about whether to give it to someone whose figure can stand up to the fabric, or to keep it and hope that faithful daily swimming changes my figure enough to wear it well.
It is really bloody cute, I love the crochet ruffles and the lace panels in front. I learned a lot of cool tricks with this sweater too. For example, to weave ends in on a reverse stockinette stitch garment, the trick is to go horizontally, so that if they peek through, they just look like another of the little horizontal edges of the stitches. I learned how to p2tog tbl..not something to do for fun, but fascinating the way it looks like a k2tog on the other side of the fabric. If you don't like seaming and finishing, this is not the project for you. I imagine you could knit in the round for the body, but there are two rows of sc around the bottom, and rows around the armholes and neck. It took several hours of finishing to actually finish.
All in all I call it a success, a Ravelry happy face. The project bears no responsibility for my figure flaws after all.


turtlegirl76 said...

So cute! I know that color, and yeah, I can imagine how hard it is to photograph. It looks great though!

Holly said...

Yummy! You can give me your hand-me-downs anytime sister!